Depraved, wicked, evil, sinful.This subject is not something to simply store away in our heads. It is serious and must be sensed. If we have never felt the weight of our sin, we have not experienced salvation. If we have never realized our depraved nature, we have never seen Christ. There are many people who sincerely think they are good people. In sharing the gospel, I have been utterly shocked at how many people think they are good. People often have no standard of perfection and therefore make themselves the standard.
Have you given thought to your sinful state apart from God? Have you paused and truly considered the reality that without Christ, you are wicked at your core?
1. Depravity is Wide (Universal)
- 1 Kings 8:46
- Psalm 14:1-3
- Proverbs 20:9
- Ecclesiastes 7:20
- Isaiah 64:6-7
- 1 John 1:8-10
2. Depravity is Deep (Total)
- Everything an unbeliever does is sin. (1 Corinthians 10:13; Titus 1:15)
- Depravity has been deep every since the Fall (Gen 6:5)
- Depravity darkens understanding. (Eph 4:18)
- Depravity does not mean everyone will become Adolf Hitler.
When we say “Total” depravity, we mean everything is tainted without Christ. There are different levels of sin and different intensities of it’s manifestation. Total depravity is referring to the core of a person and this core is shown in different ways.
3. Depravity is Early
- Psalm 58:3
- Psalm 51:5
- Proverbs 22:15
- We are sinners by nature and by choice.
- Romans 5:12
- Romans 5:18-19
4. Depravity is Deadly
- Depraved people desire darkness more than light. (John 3:18-21)
- Depraved people are unable to change their affections. (Jeremiah 13:23)
- Only a work of the Spirit can change a depraved heart. (Eph 2:1)
- Dead hearts can only be made alive by God. Dry bones can only be revived by the breath of life.
We need new hearts. We need hearts of flesh and not of stone. We need hearts that beat for God and that love God at their core. This can only happen by a supernatural work of the Spirit. God must speak and change our affections. Dead hearts can only sin. Sinful hearts are bound by their nature and there is nothing good in them that can bring about self change.
Small Group Discussion:
- At the core of your being, do you have a love for God or a love for something else?
- How have your affections changed since becoming a Christian?
- Why do you think most people view themselves as a “good person”?
- In your own words, explain why everything an unbeliever does is sinful.
- How does the doctrine of total depravity impact our pride?